Admissions FAQs

Admissions Process

When and how will I receive my admissions decision?

May I receive an application fee waiver?

Is the application deadline strictly enforced?

May I interview with a member of the Admissions staff?

May I start the JD program in the spring semester?

Do you give admission preference to Hawai‘i residents?

How large is the first-year class?

What is the Ulu Lehua Scholars Program?

I earned my undergraduate degree from an online program. Will the Law School recognize my undergraduate degree?

I was dismissed from another law school for academic reasons. May I apply to the UH Law School?

Why do I have to disclose information about prior or pending criminal, disciplinary, and/or academic problems on my law school application?

How do I apply for the JD-MBA joint degree program with the Shidler College of Business?

For Undergraduates

What major should I choose if I want to go to the UH Law School?

Where can I learn more about preparing for a legal career at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM)?

Admissions Process

When and how will I receive my admissions decision?

We will email you when we have made a decision about your application. We will also update your online status page. Most applicants who submit complete applications before February 1 will receive decisions in February.  Applicants who apply after February 1 may not receive decisions until mid-June.

Please do not call us to ask about the status of your application. We cannot provide status updates to you over the telephone.

May I receive an application fee waiver?

Please see Application Fee Waivers.

Is the application deadline strictly enforced?

You are strongly encouraged to apply before February 1.  The Law School may exclude from consideration any application submitted after February 1 or any application that is incomplete on February 1.

May I interview with a member of the Admissions staff?

No. We do not grant admissions interviews. However, we encourage you to visit our law school and sit in on a law school class. See Request a Visit.

May I start the JD program in the spring semester?

No, we only accept incoming first-year students in the fall.

Do you give admissions preference to Hawai‘i residents?

Yes. Because we are the only law school in Hawai‘i, we give preference to applicants who

  • are residents of Hawaiʻi;
  • have a close relationship to our state;
  • have a strong background and continuing interest in Native Hawaiian Law, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies, or Environmental Law; and/or
  • have a compelling personal need to study in Hawaiʻi (e.g., immediate family, military transfer).

How large is the first-year class?

We are a small law school. We typically welcome 90 full-time students and 25 part-time students each Fall. See About Us.

What is the Ulu Lehua Program?

Each year, the Admissions Committee selects up to twelve students from the entering class to join the Ulu Lehua Program. These students have overcome adversity and demonstrated their academic potential, leadership ability, and commitment to social justice.

It is the Law School’s hope that students in the Ulu Lehua Program will

  • Address the legal and related needs of communities underserved by the legal profession in Hawai‘i and Pacific Island nations;
  • Represent communities that are presently underrepresented in the Law School and underserved by the legal profession;
  • Serve as role models for and mentors to others who are striving to overcome adversity to reach their full potential as community leaders in Hawai‘i and the Pacific; and
  • Bring distinctive viewpoints and life experiences to the Law School community, enriching the understanding of everyone who works and learns here.

For more information, please see Ulu Lehua Program.

NOTE: This is not a scholarship program.

I earned my undergraduate degree from an online program. Will the Law School recognize my undergraduate degree?

We will accept your degree if the online school has been regionally accredited. Please find lists of regionally accredited schools on the individual accrediting body websites, or ask the school if they are regionally accredited, and if so by which accrediting body.

You may also search the accreditation database maintained by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. "Each of the postsecondary educational institutions and programs contained within the database is, or was, accredited by an accrediting agency or state approval agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a 'reliable authority as to the quality of postsecondary education' within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended" (HEA).

I was dismissed from another law school for academic reasons. May I apply to the UH Law School?

Yes. The American Bar Association Standards of Approval for Law Students provides that "a law school may admit or readmit a student who has been disqualified previously for academic reasons upon an affirmative showing that the student possesses the requisite ability and that the prior disqualification does not indicate a lack of capacity to complete the course of study at the admitting school." You must address the circumstances surrounding your dismissal on your application and have a letter of good standing from your previous law school (i.e., 505 letter) sent directly to the Admissions Office. See ABA Standard 505.pdf.

Why do I have to disclose information about prior or pending criminal, disciplinary, and/or academic problems on my law school application?

Because lawyers and law students are held to high ethical standards, you must be truthful and candid during the entire admissions process. The Law School expects you to furnish requested information in a complete and accurate manner.

Failure to disclose an act or event may be more significant and may lead to more serious consequences than the event itself. Failure to provide complete and truthful information, or failure to inform the Admissions Office of any changes to your answers over time, may result in dismissal from or disciplinary action by the Law School, revocation of a degree, or denial of permission to practice law by the state in which you seek bar admission.

*You should familiarize yourself with the requirements for bar admission in the state(s) where you plan to practice law.*

For example, applicants may not sit for the Hawaiʻi Bar Exam or be admitted to the Hawai‘i Bar if they have not complied with a court order for child support, or a subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding. Likewise, applicants may not sit for the Hawaiʻi Bar Exam or be admitted to the Hawai‘i Bar if they have not complied with an obligation under a student loan, student loan repayment contract, scholarship contract, or repayment plan. For more information, see http://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/court_rules/rules/rsch.htm. For requirements for additional states, see the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.

Your obligation to disclose does not end upon admission and continues throughout your law school career.

How do I apply for the JD/MBA joint degree program with the Shidler College of Business?

Admitted full-time JD students may apply for conditional admission to the Shidler College of Business. See JD/MBA Joint Program.

For Undergraduates

What major should I choose if I want to go to the UH Law School?

Please choose a major that interests you. We do not prefer one undergraduate major over another. To learn more about the legal profession and applying to law school, you may want to explore the Law School Admissions Council Discover Law website.

Where can I learn more about preparing for a legal career at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM)?
The UHM Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center (PAC) is staffed by current law students who are trained to help you clarify your career goals, choose a major, plan appropriate coursework, research professional programs, find opportunities to gain experience, and apply to law schools.  PAC is open to the public:  You do not need to be a student to use their services. PAC is located in Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services, Room 101.  To make an appointment, please call (808) 956-4045 or email prelaw@hawaii.edu.

Contact

Elisabeth Steele Hutchison

Director of Admissions
Office phone
(808) 956-5557

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